This article looks into the applications that bamboo can be used for as a sustainable construction material. This will be the last part in the series on bamboo and its sustainable properties. This week is again based on the analysis of Pablo van der Lugt and his book Booming Bamboo.


Structural Applications

As touched upon in last weeks article, engineered bamboo products are suitable for a number of structural purposes. We will go through a few examples here.

The BMW Solar Carport is one of my favourite examples of bamboo being used for a structural purpose. It is made from laminated bamboo beams and stainless steel.


It looks great and it allows electric vehicles to be fully charged using on site renewable energy.

Another stunning use of bamboo is the Zeri Pavilion that was on display at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. This was designed by Colombian architect Simon Velez, and he is well known for being one of the most accomplished bamboo architects.


The South American bamboo Guadua provided material for the beams, the flooring, the internal columns and the roof supports.

Architectural Applications

Beyond structural purposes, which can be made both practical and sustainable, bamboo can be used to create architecturally stunning buildings.

One of my favourite examples is the Parkhaus Zoo in Leipzig. As you can see from the picture below, the building is wrapped in thousands of bamboo stems, which are nice to look at.

Leipzig Zoo

Interior Applications

Just as bamboo can be used on the exterior of a building to create stunning facades, it can be used on the interior to create eye catching finishes.

One of my favourite interior finishes examples is the ceiling of T4 at Madrid International Airport. It consists of 200,000 m2 of gently curved laminated bamboo laths. To make them suitable for an aviation environment they have been impregnated with fire retardants. They are particularly eye catching as they have been able to warp the material in two directions, to create a memorable finish.

Madrid international Airport

What you need to know

This article looked into the applications that bamboo can be used for.

We looked at examples of bamboo being used for structural purposes. These were both eye catching and sustainable.

We looked at bamboo’s use in architectural practice, which can create stunning external finishes.

We looked at an example of bamboo being used for internal finishes to great effect.

Overall, the key takeaway should be that bamboo is both highly sustainable, has incredible properties of strength and can also be used to great effect to create truly memorable buildings and infrastructure.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to raise the profile of this sustainable resource?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

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